Made in Idaho: Third generation leads the way at Fruitland's Woodgrain Millwork

Posted at 6:39 AM, Mar 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-26 12:12:36-04

According to the Idaho Forest Products Commission, Idaho has 21.5 million acres of forest land. One Treasure Valley family knows very well the importance of the timber industry here.

For 65 years, Woodgrain Millwork has provided wood products to the Gem State and well beyond. The family-owned business was founded by Bud Dame in the 1950s. Now, at Fruitland headquarters, the Dame's third generation is leading the way. Doors, molding, windows, and more are created at Woodgrain locations across the United States.

"We're really proud to be from Idaho. It's somewhere we grew up and there are a lot of resources, which we thrive off of. Whether it be the communities we live in, the natural resources of the trees, which are right in our backyard, we're able to work hand in hand with the forestry and kind of utilize our resources here in the state of Idaho," said Tanner Dame, the Woodgrain marketing director.

Woodgrain takes pride in its vertical integration business model, owning and operating all levels of the supply chain from the forest and sawmill where logs are cut, to the manufacturing facilities, and on to distribution.

"That's really a kind of key piece of what makes our business unique, and it really sets us apart," Dame said.

As lumber makes its way through the Fruitland facility, each piece is scanned for imperfections and the defects are cut. The finished moldings are sold in Home Depots and other stores around the country. It takes a lot of employees to get the job done.

"The impact here in Idaho is big. We have over 3,000 employees throughout the entire company. 850 of those employees are established and based here in Idaho," Dame said.

They try not to waste any materials along the manufacturing process. Smaller dowels are sold to craft stores. And all of that sawdust? It's turned into fuel pellets or animal bedding.

The "Made in Idaho" business is making Idahoans proud.

"I think we thrive off of the small community feel. It's the fact that there's a great work force--hard working people--we've been able to have 65 years of success," Dame said.

If the Dame brothers sound familiar to you, they also have another business. Proof Eyewear, who make wood sunglasses, and which was one of the first "Made in Idaho" companies we featured on 6 On Your Side.

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